The notorious Opium-Eater returns in the sensational climax to David Morrell's acclaimed Victorian mystery trilogy.
1855. The railway has irrevocably altered English society, effectively changing geography and fueling the industrial revolution by shortening distances between cities: a whole day's journey can now be covered in a matter of hours. People marvel at their new freedom.
But train travel brings new dangers as well, with England's first death by train recorded on the very first day of railway operations in 1830. Twenty-five years later, England's first train murder occurs, paralyzing London with the unthinkable when a gentleman is stabbed to death in a safely locked first-class passenger compartment.
In the next compartment, the brilliant opium-eater Thomas De Quincey and his quick-witted daughter, Emily, discover the homicide in a most gruesome manner. Key witnesses and also resourceful sleuths, they join forces with their allies in Scotland Yard, Detective Ryan and his partner-in-training, Becker, to pursue the killer back into the fogbound streets of London, where other baffling murders occur. Ultimately, De Quincey must confront two ruthless adversaries: this terrifying enemy, and his own opium addiction which endangers his life and his tormented soul.
Ruler of the Night is a riveting blend of fact and fiction which, like master storyteller David Morrell's previous De Quincey novels, "evokes Victorian London with such finesse that you'll hear the hooves clattering on cobblestones, the racket of dustmen, and the shrill calls of vendors" (Entertainment Weekly).
Set in 1855, Edgar-finalist Morrell's spectacular third and final whodunit featuring opium addict and author Thomas De Quincey (after 2015's Inspector of the Dead) finds De Quincey and Emily, his 22-year-old daughter and partner in detection, traveling by train from London to the Lake District, where he hopes to stop a landlord to whom he owes money from auctioning his beloved books. When lawyer Daniel Harcourt, who's also a passenger on the train, is strangled, the De Quinceys become involved in the subsequent investigation. With railway travel relatively new, the first murder ever on an English train causes an uproar and makes a speedy solution essential to restoring public trust. The powers that be, many of whom utilized the dead man's services, limit access to Harcourt's client files in a determined effort to cover something up. The narrative builds to a powerful but bittersweet ending that will leave readers hoping that Morrell eventually chooses to resurrect this superb series.